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Is this passive aggressive bullying behaviour

(14 Posts)
needtoknowbasis Tue 23-Jun-09 17:52:30

I really need some perspective on my DH. I love him dearly and we have been together nearly 10 years one DS. Am a namechanger of course.

He has a long history of coming across as intimidating, not in a physical sense but because he seems in a black mood and he doesnt seem very smiley or happy at times. He has had depression but insists he is not and has not been depressed for a long time.

He has a lot of habits I really hate, they make me and I think DS feel really bad a lot, but they are so hard to grab on to and he is so great the rest of the time, and I know he loves us so much, that I feel really guilty whenever I try to confront him, and that I dont have a leg to stand on.

Example he just got home from work and my prozac pill is sitting next to my cup of tea. I am supposed to take it in the morning but I forgot. He says "whats that?" in a really friendly voice. It annoyed me because I hear that voice when he is making a point. He knows exactly what it is we've seen it every day for years. I say its my prozac. he continues making strange "confused noises" and says something like oh but why is it there? I snapped and said its there because I forgot to take it earlier and I am taking it now. The thing is he knows this it is bloody obvious and I resent being questioned in a slightly dishonest way. I know it is a very little thing but it happens all the time. I cant remember them all though so whenever I try to confront him all I can come up with is the latest flimsy example.

He is quite rude to DS sometimes, if I ask DS whats wrong when he is crying he will start talking over him loudly in an angry voice saying what HE thinks is wrong i.e. DS is misbehaving. I have several times very sharply yelled at him that treating DS like that isnt going to make him any better when he is struggling to get his feelings out. The last time he did that several times in one week I said I wondered if it would be best for DS if I left DH I was that upset about it.

He isnt physically abusive with dS but sometimes picks him up and handles him too roughly, DS is really hyper sensitive and I know sometimes he has flinched and jerked away when DH walked in the room in a temper because he was awake when he was supposed to be asleep. In that same incident when DS was crying having some sort of night terror and not responding to the "help" DH was offering (read, not responding to barking commands) DH said "fine then I'll just leave the room if you dont want my help". I was aghast as I was actually helping DS and I said "you dont get to be indignant when you are a parent!" This is a 3 year old we are talking about.

He also with me badgers me a lot on things I haev said I'd rather stop talking about. Like we argued the other day and then I said I was sorry for my misunderstanding him and I thought we were fine and then 5 mins later he started it up again asking why I had misunderstood him previously. And I pretty much emotionally collapsed in the car with him and DS I just sat there with my head in my hands unable to speak because I didnt wan tto argue anymore in front of DS. And if I say no to something that I dont want to do. If he thinks I would really love it or it would be good for me he relentlessly suggests it til I get angry. And then he acts wounded because he was suggesting it for my benefit. But I had already clearly said I didnt want to do it and I just wish he didnt badger me so much.

To give this awful picture balance he is really kind most of the time, and very loving. He does loads of work around the house. He supports me in what I want to do for myself. DS adores him although I do think he is a little afraid or insecure around him. I have begged and demanded he get counselling many many times and he has said he will but never followed through on it. The other day he again said he will but I havent heard anything since. I just dont know if I am making a mountain out of a molehill. All these things and more if I could write them all might make him sound bad but there is a lot of good on the other side.

What do you think?

needtoknowbasis Tue 23-Jun-09 18:09:51


charlotte1978 Tue 23-Jun-09 18:21:27


I would say he is rather insecure is a bit of a bully. He does seem rather condesending as well. My father was like this. He would mind fuck you and it would drive my mum mad. He died years ago but she stuck by him. That being said he does have a lot of issues. For him to have to constantly point out he is right all the time (like in the car) he is insecure and doesn't respect your opinion. He feels like he is boss and his opinion is all that matters.

With your child, his behaviour is so wrong and your child will be mentally affected by this. I now personally feel like my opinion isn't good enough and instead of saying 'I was thinking...' I will say 'Oh Pat was saying....' so if the person disputes my opinion then I don't feel so stupid. I worry for your child because it's obvious he is nervous around his own father. I was as well. When my father was in a mood I would hide in my wardrobe. It was easier than dealing with it.

You need to stand up to him and tell him to pull himself together. You are a valuable person and if he can't deal with that he knows where the door is.

Obviously what you do is up to you but I just gave my opinion so I hope you are not mad.


fucksticks Tue 23-Jun-09 18:28:38

I may have got the wrong end of the stick here, but it strikes me that all the examples of things that annoy you about your DH seem to be the attempts by him to get you to talk to him or join in with something/get involved (apart from the things with DS)
Am wondering if he's thinking almost the same thoughts about you?
If you are on prozac and not got into the routine of taking it in the mornings well yet, then I'm assuming you are depressed and not quite got it under control at the moment?
Could he be trying to help you? Encouraging you to talk about forgetting your tablet but in a jolly/not nagging way? Same with chivvying you into doing things that are for your own benefit?

With regards to the issues with DS - its hard to say. If the above is true and DH's intentions are good, then it could be the case that DS is picking up on your anxietys and DH is frustrated at the extra sensitivity of you both?
I certainly have said somethin similar to my 3 year old in terms of 'if you dont listen/want my help then I will leave you to it!' sometimes they do need a stern telling to! and sometimes they dont but you are at the end of your tether and say it anyway iyswim.

Have you chatted with DH about the different ways you seem to feel that DS should be parented? How would he react to a calm non accusing talk on the matter, with you stating that you feel DS should be treated more sensitively and how does he feel about that?

AnyFucker Tue 23-Jun-09 19:05:23

I will probably get flamed for this but I am struggling to see what is soooo bad about him. When I started reading your OP, I thought there would be some examples of abusive behaviour towards you. I didn't see it. I saw some lack of effective communication and it seems you have got into bad habits with each other. You both sound difficult to me, tbh.

As to the way he treats your dc, I would say he sounds overbearing and a little bit too quick to talk over him. I have to admit this for myself. I have very little patience and find the long, drawn out, softly-softly approach very frustrating. I like to get to the point, and then sort it. Is this what your dh is like? Forgive me if I read it wrong and your child is living in fear of him.

It seems you have very differing approaches to parenting and are struggling to find a middle ground. Then this becomes a recurring bone of contention between you.

I don't know what to suggest really, other than relationship counselling. You sound unhappy though, so I think you both need to take some responsibilty for the way your relationship is deteriorating.

And now I will put my tin hat on smile

needtoknowbasis Tue 23-Jun-09 19:10:07

dont know why you need a tin hat anyfucker you havent said anything offensive?

he isnt sooooo bad. He has days where he is though. He can be really hurtful to me and DS. The thing is I dont think any relationship is free from conflict and no one most certainly not me, is perfect. But the examples I gave in my OP are kind of multiplied a stupid amount of times a day/week. It is really annoying that he doesnt just come out and say things. If I am upset with soemthing I just say it in a very matter of fact way whereas he will faff around in this sing song voice being coy asking questions that are blatantly obvious because he is trying to make a point without getting any heat for it. I find it really very irritating and patronising.

I do love him very much though. I dont totally trust him emotionally though, he seems a bit dishonest.

needtoknowbasis Tue 23-Jun-09 19:12:11

but yes we have different ideas of how to parent DS. He seems incapable of adapting to DS's issues. He needs to realise that a hard touch to DS can feel like an assault and trigger a long problem. DS has SN and is very sensitive. DH's tactics usually just make everything worse with DS and I feel like I am doing damage control or running interference. He also expects DS to do things that are beyond his age.

AnyFucker Tue 23-Jun-09 20:01:03

you didn't mention your ds has SN, it sounds like he struggles with his expectations of him

I didn't mean to be flippant about the tin hat, I still expect to get jumped on for failing to see anything drastically wrong with the way you have described your dh

< feels a bit bolder >

tbh, I would also have a problem with you forgetting to take your meds and then "leaving the tablet sitting by your cup of tea"

in fact, it would drive me mad, and make me think you didn't really want to feel better wrt to your depression

I would be more likely to say "ffs, will you take your tablet!" though, than this patronising way you describe he speaks to you

like I said, you both sound poles apart at the moment

whoisasking Tue 23-Jun-09 20:14:07

Sorry for this very small hijack but I just have to say something to charlotte1979

"Obviously what you do is up to you but I just gave my opinion so I hope you are not mad."

This line just made me want to cry a bit. You gave some good advice, and I especially liked your honesty to the OP in relation to your own experiences. Now I want you to re-read a line from your own post:

"You are a valuable person"

So are you Charlotte. Your opinion is valuable too.

AnyFucker Tue 23-Jun-09 20:26:27

I agree with you, whoisasking, charlotte made some very good points

needtoknowbasis Tue 23-Jun-09 21:02:08

charlotte I wanted to say thank you as well for being so open with me. I meant to earlier and was writing the post in limited time. And I wasnt mad at all, what you said was kind and thoughtful.

anyfucker I understand what you mean about the pill. I hadnt thought about it in that light so thanks. I am not really actively depressed though I've been on it for about 5 years and I am pretty balanced overall. But still I can see what you mean.

Thanks for the input.

AnyFucker Tue 23-Jun-09 21:15:22

I am surprised you haven't had more replies.....

Hassled Tue 23-Jun-09 21:19:58

I don't think you're making a mountain out of a molehill and you sound very unhappy indeed. Yes, it is passive aggressive behaviour.

You have to ask yourself if you can ever see him changing. Assuming he won't, you have to ask whether the nice bits outweigh the bad, i.e. whether or not you can just put up with the shite. And then whether you actually want to reach old age with him.

Dior Tue 23-Jun-09 21:20:49

NTKB - He sounds exactly like my h and I know how frustrating it can be. He continually makes 'jokes' that are actually ways of getting his point across without me being able to get cross.

You have my every sympathy but I have no idea what to say to make it go away...sorry.

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